The Secretary of Delta State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Chidi Okonji, has been suspended indefinitely over N600,000.00 grant to the party by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led state government of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
The party through the state Chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue said the APC secretary unilaterally collected the money in the name of the party and solely appropriated same to himself.
Mr. Okonji was suspended indefinitely pending the report of a five-man disciplinary committee set up to investigate the financial allegation and other alleged anti-party activities leveled against him.
But, Mr. Okonji in a reaction said that there was no meeting of the party’s State Executive Council (SEC) made of 35 members which has the constitutional right to suspend him.
On the alleged N600,000.00, the suspended Secretary said that he was duly authorized by the state chairman to collect the grant of N600, 000 which he (chairman) appropriated half to himself.
According to Mr. Okonji, “Prophet Jones Erue authorized me, Chidi Okonji through a letter to collect the grant of N500,000.00 only on behalf of the party which the Prophet Jones Erue split into two and collected half.
He further insisted that the amount ought to be N600,000, and that he was going to see the SSA to confirm the amount,”
The present crisis started when he (Okonji) asked the chairman to “return party bus donated by Atiku; call SEC meeting to address burning issues including the 13.5 million Christmas gift given to the party.”
Okonji added that he also asked the chairman “to account for the N5 million given to run the party every month; and to stop using his personal account to siphon money from the party account.”
“Purported suspension is null and void as the nine person-meeting (State Working Committee) lack the constitutional power to suspend or apply any punitive action without the approval of SEC.”
He therefore called on the national leadership of the party to set up a committee to look into the allegedly endless financial crisis of the state executive led by Prophet Erue, and that the chairman should give financial accounts of his stewardship since 2013.